Teens' track walk raises $5,000 to fight cancer

NEIGHBORS

May 24, 2002|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SEVENTY TEEN-AGERS traded hanging out with their friends last Friday night for the chance to walk around a track for more than 24 hours to help fight cancer. The diverse group of students at Northeast High School raised $5,000 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life last weekend at Anne Arundel Community College.

Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event held at a local park or school, where everyone in a community can participate in the fight against cancer by raising money for research and programs for cancer survivors and caregivers.

Groups form teams of eight to 15 that spend the night taking turns walking or running around a track or path during the 24-hour event. One member of the team must be walking during the entire relay event.

Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon and avid runner from Tacoma, Wash., began the American Cancer Society's relay event 17 years ago. Relays are held in almost 3,000 communities across the United States and in seven foreign countries.

The idea to get involved in the relay came from Donna Bagley, Northeast guidance counselor. Last year, Bagley was looking for a way to get students more involved in the community, when she heard about the annual Relay for Life event held locally.

"Two of my sisters were diagnosed with cancer and survive, plus cancer has touched the lives of many Northeast students too," she said. "The relay sounded like a fun way to celebrate life, help raise money to fight cancer and get students more involved in community projects."

Bagley put up fliers and made her pitch during morning announcements. To her surprise, more than 50 students showed up to find out more about the relay. "We had over 75 participants in last year's relay and raised $6,000; it was amazing," she said.

When the relay information arrived this year, Bagley was confident that students would again lend their support. "They came through again this year," she said. "Our students, plus a few staff members, volunteered to man nine teams for the event."

While lack of interest did not deter Northeast's efforts, a deluge last weekend caused a few soggy moments for team walkers.

"There were so many things to do at the relay from contests, to entertainment and bands, that our group ended up wet but we had a great time," Bagley said.

Anti-smoking winners

Five young Pasadena residents were named winners in a countywide poster contest sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Health Department during its Tobacco-Free Kids Week. The winning posters, featuring anti-smoking messages, were chosen from hundreds of entries received in the contest.

The local winners were James Burgan from Chesapeake Bay Middle School, Melissa Gary from Chesapeake High School, Jessie Wismer from High Point Elementary School, Laura Anzaldi from Pasadena Elementary School and Nicole Kouroupis from Jenkins Memorial Church Youth Center.

The winning posters are displayed on the showcase page of the Health Department's "Smoking Stinks" Web site: www.smokingstinks-aaco.org.

The winners received certificates and T-shirts.

The Pasadena students were among a record-setting 122 groups and 56,600 youths who participated in Tobacco-Free Kids Week events in March.

In its sixth year, the anti-smoking campaign enlists schools and other youth-centered groups to reach kids with anti-tobacco message through original, creative activities. Events this year included educational displays, quizzes, games shows, paper airplanes decorated with anti-tobacco messages, "pledge walls" where kids signed promises not to smoke, original skits on why kids shouldn't use tobacco, and paper chains of the names of people who have died from smoking.

Holiday block party

The Chesapeake Christian Center is sponsoring a Memorial Day community block party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Chesterfield Community Park on Crystal Palace Drive.

The party will feature free food and games for the family.

Information: 410-255-3168.

Pancake fund-raiser

Mount Carmel United Methodist Church will have its monthly pancake breakfast fund-raiser from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow in its fellowship hall, 4760 Mountain Road.

The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit cup, juice, coffee and milk.

Information: 410-255-8887.

Line dancing lessons

Pasadena United Methodist Church, 61 Ritchie Highway, is sponsoring line dance lessons for beginners and intermediate dancers in its fellowship hall beginning June 6. Pearl Carpenter, who also teaches line dancing at Anne Arundel Community College, will be the instructor.

Lessons will be offered from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through July 25. The cost for the eight-week course is $25. All proceeds from the lessons will benefit the Arundel House of Hope. Advance registration is required.

Information: 410-647-3090.

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